So many young Australians are aware of the poverty crisis within Australia, as well as internationally. However, many individuals are unaware of how they can actually contribute towards the efforts of eliminating poverty and promoting youth empowerment.
In 2010, Australian charity organisation Oaktree created the fundraising campaign, Live Below the Line. Oaktree is a youth-driven organisation that specialises in international youth development. Since starting the campaign, Oaktree has encouraged over 50,000 Australians to raise over $10 million for education and community initiatives.
The campaign aims to eliminate poverty through an interactive two- or five-day challenge, in which individuals are required to sustain their daily meals with a total of two dollars. Live Below the Line encourages young individuals to sign up and even create a team to partake in the challenge. Wentworth’s Kate Jenkinson is an ambassador for the campaign, and has participated in the campaign for the past few years, promoting her experience through her social media accounts.
So why participate in the challenge?
The Live Below the Line experience enables individuals to experience what living below the poverty line is actually like. It allows you to gain insight into just how difficult it is for some people to plan their next meal, under the restrictions of such a low budget. The campaign also allows individuals to challenge themselves. With a low budget for food, individuals will need to plan in advance and budget their meals extensively. Rather than just donating to a charity, participating in a challenge such as Live Below the Line actually allows you to experience what living below the poverty line is like. It exposes you to the struggles of those that are unable to frequently eat out with friends or order Uber Eats after a long day at work or university. These are privileges that we may often take for granted.
There is also a Dine Below the Line option. This activity allows you to invite friends, colleagues, and family to cook a meal valued at $2 per individual, asking the participants to donate what they would normally pay for a meal whilst eating out! Dine Below the Line gives people a chance to engage in meaningful conversations about the notion of poverty, allowing everyone to feel as if they have made an impact in terms of social justice.
Social change cannot be created without action. Often, we can see the elimination of poverty as an unattainable goal, but without the efforts of every day individuals, the goal will never be achieved. If you’ve ever felt like you wanted to contribute to a good cause, but also feel involved in the process, then Live Below the Line could be a great activity to promote social change—and to enable a sense of accomplishment within yourself. Extreme poverty has already been halved and together we can end it.
For more information on Live Below the Line, and information on how to sign up, you can visit: